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European stock markets continued their downward movements over the past week. Growing tension over the Syrian crisis, with possible military strikes against the country, caused concerns among investors, waking them up from the summer lethargy.

All major indices closed in red territory on Friday, with the biggest fall registered by Spain’s IBEX – down 4.41%, ending the week at 8,294 points. Germany’s DAX30 and France’s CAC40 lost 3.81% and 3.63%, respectively, while Italy’s S&P/MIB slid by 3.87%. Compared to its counterparts, the UK’s FTSE100 declined by “only” 1.53%. The British parliament’s rejection on authorising military intervention in Syria was enough to support the stock index and limit its losses.

Across the Atlantic, US indices also disappointed during the past week, strongly influenced by the anticipated military operation in Syria. Friday saw the leading indices: the Dow, the Nasdaq100, and the S&P500, closing with a weekly decline of about 1.5% each. As it became clear yesterday that President Barack Obama would not involve his country in another war without the Congress’ approval, some of investors’ confidence has returned. At the time of writing, the indices are trading on green territory, with a rise by about 0.7%.


The Syrian crisis led to an increase in oil prices. US oil futures for October (WTI1013) rose by 1.41% to $107.70 per barrel, also reaching a two-year high during the week. Brent crude (COIL1013), on the other hand, appreciated by 2.92% to $114.17 per barrel and managed to climb to a six-month high for the same period. News on postponing the military operation in Syria, which emerged over the weekend, led to a retreat in the prices of black gold, and this morning it was 1.6% lower than Friday’s close.


On the Forex market, the US dollar witnessed a serious appreciation in the past five days. The greenback outperformed its currency counterparts, with the most traded EUR/USD pair losing 170 pips and closing at 1.3214. The GBP/USD declined by 88 pips, ending the period at 1.5494, while the AUD/USD wiped 136 pips off its value and closed at 0.8898 on Friday. Only the Japanese yen managed to gain ground against the US dollar, with the USD/JPY falling by 50 pips to 98.16 on Friday.

What to expect this week?

This week, markets will remain sensitive to news coming from Syria and a possible military intervention by the US and their allies.

Since the US market is closed today due to the Labor Day holiday, Monday‘s focus is on data coming from the Eurozone and the Asian-Pacific markets. The Markit Manufacturing PMI for several Eurozone countries was just posted and it showed predominantly positive data, with only Germany revealing less-than-expected results. Tuesday will see the release of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision, the UK’s PMI Construction for August and the US ISM Manufacturing PMI for August. Wednesday will offer another central bank’s interest rate decision – the Bank of Canada, with other highlights including the GDPs of Australia, Japan, and the Eurozone. On Thursday the main events will come from the interest rate decisions of the Bank of Japan and the Bank of England, along with the US Factory Orders for July.

On Friday, the week will end with the traditional start of each month, the Nonfarm Payrolls from the US. Industrial and Manufacturing Productions for the UK for July along with the country’s Consumer Inflation Expectations for August will also be in the investors’ focus.